The head of Norway’s Consumer Council (Forbrukerrådet) called it “a sad day for people saving money in funds,” when the Oslo City Court ruled against its class-action claim that Norway’s biggest bank, DNB, had wrongfully managed its fund customers’ money. Now the council looks likely to appeal.
“There’s a lot in this verdict that suggests an appeal,” said Consumer Council chief Randi Flesland, who has led DNB customers’ battle against the bank. The plaintiffs claim they paid high fees for “active management” of their money that they didn’t receive.
Flesland claimed the court agreed with the Consumer Council’s criticism of DNB’s funds management, but decided that lawmakers must set minimum standards for active fund management, not the courts. DNB was pleased, with its spokesman claiming the bank was not surprised the court found there had been active management all along.
The council sued DNB on behalf of 180,000 customers who had money in three DNB funds from 2010 to 2014. Flesland noted how the council had support from the state financial authorities in both Norway (Finanstilsynet) and the EU, along with academic experts and some foreign fund analysts at, for example, Morningstar. An appeal was under consideration, with the verdict not due to take effect until mid-February.